Getty Images, the Getty Family and Stand Together Announce Recipients of Inaugural Grant to Preserve the Visual History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Claflin University, Jackson State, North Carolina Central University, and Prairie View A&M University awarded $500,000 grant to digitize their archival photographic libraries

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Getty Images, a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace, in partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, a philanthropic community tackling some of the biggest challenges of our times, today announced the recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The $500,000 grant will support the digitization of up to 200,000 archival photos from Claflin University, Jackson State University, North Carolina Central University and Prairie View A&M University, to help preserve the invaluable photographic history of HBCUs.

Launching today on, the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection” will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Getty Images will work alongside archivists at each HBCU and Adnet Global, a renowned post-production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration, and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. “We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world.”

“Jackson State University is honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Getty Images photo digitization grant, which will provide the critical resources needed to help us create a digital archive of thousands of photographs in our collection,” said Thomas K. Hudson, J.D, President of Jackson State University. “Preserving the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora found at HBCU’s is an essential step in ensuring that the stories of our ancestors are accessible to share for generations to come. Thank you to Getty Images, the Getty family and Stand Together for providing this generous support.”

"We are enormously grateful to receive the Getty Images photo digitization Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Claflin University President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack. "This partnership will help Claflin preserve its illustrious history in photographs documenting the University’s emergence as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. These images provide compelling visual narratives of how Claflin’s dedicated and visionary administrators, distinguished faculty and staff, and high-achieving scholars made indelible contributions to Orangeburg, the state of South Carolina, and the world."

“North Carolina Central University’s rich history, vibrant culture and steady growth over the past 111 years have been captured through images. The generous investment by Getty Images will offer new, technologically enhanced and advanced ways in which we, as a leading Historically Black University, can further tell our story,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor of NCCU. “A strategic partnership with the world’s largest visual storytelling and preservation company is one that will strengthen and elevate the importance of digitizing our important photographic collections that document the history of NCCU and other HBCUs that are institutional gems to our nation. The collaboration also trains the next generation of librarians, archivists and public historians who will work with these priceless collections.”

"This assistance is timely and important to the preservation of the unique history of our 145-year-old university,” said Ruth J. Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University. “We are grateful to Getty Images for valuing the preservation of these images."

Each HBCU will retain all copyright for their photographs and all revenue generated from the images will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to scholarship funds focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

The grant applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included:

— Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

— Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at NAACP

— Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Professor of Sociology – The Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at University of Pennsylvania

 Renata Cherlise, Founder of

— Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor in Chief of The Undefeated

— Mercedes Cooper, Vice President, Public Programming at ARRAY

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world. 

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